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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:19 pm 
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Felix wrote:
"Hey, you think you have an idea for an exit strategy?"


Piper shakes her head.

Felix wrote:
"Aramsham, you should calm yourself. Do not let this deceiver get the better of you. After all, you said that not even the church would cross that line. As I've been saying, we know who some of the corrupt elements are and we have means to find the rest. Give us the task of punishing the wicked. Prepare yourself for peaceful dialogue instead of war."


Felix: Rapport: +4 Roll: +1 Sidekick: +3 Free tag (Broken Alliance): +2 Total: +10
Aramsham: Resolve: +0 Roll: +0 Total: +0

This result means that Aramsham is pretty much going to accommodate Felix - as far as his worldview permits. Which isn't all that far, as it turns out...


"The entire church is corrupt!" insists Aramsham. "We shall descend on them like locusts on the fields, slaying and slaying until -"

Piper picks this moment to hug him about the knees. And it seems it's quite impossible to retain a blind screaming rage while being hugged by Piper. Aramsham looks down at Piper, then back up at Felix, then down at Piper again, and then back up at Felix.

"I suppose..." Aramsham reluctantly concedes "there might be... one or two... minor clergy... who are not yet unretrievably corrupted. But we should not wait long before launching our assault - this spawn of evil was always telling us to delay!"

Arkady wrote:
"Holy one, war now or later is still war. Martel wants you to throw your followers at the Church Knights. Does the True God really want the same thing as the consort of Demons, or in His wisdom does He have a better plan? You are His prophet, He will share His wisdom with you."


Aramsham shakes his head. "You have it wrongly, the deceptions of evil must have fooled you. This consort of Demons was always urging restraint, just waiting a little longer - I now have no doubt he intended me to wait forever! If I choose the opposite of what he urged, then I must go to war at once!"

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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:49 pm 
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"You should still wait some small amount of time, Your Holiness." Felix says. "Martel has had time to worm his wicked ways through your followers. You need to make sure your troops are free from influence before you march on the Church, lest they summon demons in your midst during the crucial moments of battle."

Felix ponders for a moment.

"Where I'm from, there are ways to root out demonic influences among the populace. Have your followers fast for fourteen days and fourteen nights and perform routine self flagellation with a nine-tails upon the back. Those who maintain strength and vigor during this process are consorts of demons, drawing power from evil to sustain themselves. Deal with anyone suspected of harboring demonic influence during that time. You'll have to perform more thorough searches of the character for those who are corrupt but not drawing power from demons, though, lest assassins and saboteurs remain in your midst."

Felix nods.

"During that time, we'll scout ahead and try to root out corruption in the Church ourselves. Find the most corrupt elements so you know where to lead your armies first when you arrive."

Keep two fate points on standby to tag Laser Focus and Fortune Roulette if things get dicey with my roll.

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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:47 am 
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Felix: Rapport: +4 Roll: +1 Sidekick: +3 Total: +8
Aramsham: Resolve: +0 Roll: -1 Total: -1


Aramsham frowns, and nods. "That makes sense, yes," he says. "Fasting and self-flagellation to weed out demonic influences... I shall set that in motion at once."

Martel has backed up to the extent that the hide wall of the tent is bent and strained. He has one hand on the hilt of his sword, but he has not drawn it yet - perhaps because Sir Sparhawk has taken up a similar stance, ready to react to any direct attack, and perhaps because he knows that if the sounds of battle come from this tent, then the fanatics outside will descend upon it and only Aramsham has any significant chance of surviving that. Martel's left hand twitches as he mutters under his breath - but Sephrenia is doing her own finger-wriggling and muttering, and neither seems to be having much in the way of an observable effect.

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:44 pm 
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"Very good, then," Felix says. "I believe it's now time for us to vacate this tent shall we? Let the holy holy warriors take care of this usurper?"

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 Post Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:03 pm 
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Arkady nods. "Yes, let us go. Martel seems to have developed a twitch. It may be catching."

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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:52 pm 
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"Excellent! Yes, excellent!" cackles Aramsham. "Let us allow God's warriors to remove this stain from the face of the world!"

There's a general trooping out of the tent, and in a few moments Nate finds himself alone with Martel and Sir Sparhawk.

"You should probably follow them," says Sir Sparhawk. "I wouldn't want to leave you alone with Martel, so I'll follow you out."

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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:10 am 
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Nate's eyes never leave Martel.

"I was thinking the same thing, one on one odds don't sound nearly as good to me as two on one, if he decides to try anything. Together then?"

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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:59 am 
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Sir Sparhawk hesitates. "If we both leave, he'll find a way to slip out," he says.

Martel smiles. Moving slowly and cautiously, he places one hand on the handle of his sword, but doesn't quite draw it. "Oh, come now. Listen to the foreigner, Sparhawk old boy. You know as well as I do that if you're in this tent when Aramsham sends in his attack dogs, you won't make it out alive. You deserve a better death than that."

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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:49 am 
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Nate shrugs.

"I don't know about you, but in my experience, frothing fanatics tend to be a rather noisy lot.
All we have to do is wait until we hear them coming, duck out , and hold the flap open for them. Maybe you'll have time to cut your way out of the back of the tent, but the horde will be hot on your heels, and really, how far do you think you'll get in the desert, in the middle of the night, while wearing full plate mail. You'd just die tired."

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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:34 pm 
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"Don't tell me you think they'll ignore you just because you're holding the tent flap open," says Martel. "If you're even anywhere close to me when they arrive, you'll be dead." He turns to face Sir Sparhawk again. "You don't deserve to die like that. Look, if I promise not to touch Idiot Boy here, do you think you could leave before it's too late?"

"If I can hold you here -" says Sparhawk.

"Then your Queen will still be just as dead," points out Martel. "I used a poison with no antidote for very good reason. But you never know, if you're alive, then maybe you'll find some way to pull off some sort of miracle. And that's what you swore to do, isn't it? To protect your Queen."

Martel: Rapport: +3 Roll: +1 Aspects (Two used) +4 Total: +8
Sir Sparhawk: Resolve: +3 Roll: +2 Total: +5


"I swore to protect," argues Sir Sparhawk.

"And if you die here," argues Martel, "your Queen will die. You heard what the foreigner said. There's already no chance that I'll make it. Get out, while you still can."

Everyone inside the tent can hear Aramsham busy getting his followers worked up. The sounds suggest that Martel is not wrong - this is the last chance for anyone to leave without having to face down an army of fanatics.

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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:28 am 
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Nate listens to the howl of the mob outside and judges it to be sufficiently angry.

"Sparhawk, Martel is right about one thing.
The queen will need you, and in more or less one piece.
Go. I might not have much of a chance of beating Martel in a fair fight, but I can sure as hell make sure he doesn't go anywhere until those fanatics get here. And unlike you and Martel, I can slip out the back of the tent and lose the loonies in the dark. Heck, this isn't even the first time I've done something like this, but I can't do it with you in tow. No offence, but you leave a trail a blind bureaucrat could follow. I'll meet up with you later, alright?"


Tag Sparhawk aspect: "Sworn Duty to the Queen."

Tag aspects "Been There, Done That", "I'm Sorry, That's Classified", and "There's What You're Supposed To Do, And Then There's What's Right" if needed.

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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:51 am 
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Sir Sparhawk looks distinctly uncomfortable.

Nate: Rapport: +0 Roll: -4
Sir Sparhawk: Rapport: +3 Roll: +0 Total: +3

Okay, that is just horrible. The only halfway sensible thing to do is to use your first FATE point for a reroll:

Nate: Rapport: +0 Roll: -4

Clearly, the dice hate you. Another reroll:

Nate: Rapport: +0 Roll: +1

...I could tag one more Aspect for a +2, but honestly, it's not going to be enough. (I don't think 'That's Classified' really fits here)


"Martel's slipped out of worse traps before," says Sir Sparhawk. "I have no doubt he'll do the same if I leave."

"And is it really worth throwing your life away on the chance of killing me?" asks Martel. "Think how silly you'll feel if I make it and you don't."

Martel: Rapport: +3 Roll: +2 Aspects (two used): +4 Total: +9
Sparhawk: Resolve: +3 Roll: -1 Total: +2

Minor Consequence: Live To Fight Another Day


"...you're right," admits Sir Sparhawk. "I can't risk that. Nathan - thank you."

With that, he slips out the tent.

--------------

"Just Martel!" yells Aramsham, hopping up and down and waving his stick-thin arms in excitement (his piece of ram's horn held tightly in his right hand), as the horde of fanatics descend on the tent. "Just Martel!" It would be more encouraging if the fanatics who had got to the tent weren't blindly attacking anything and everything, including (in many cases) each other.

Sir Sparhawk shakes his head, mournfully. "There's no way anyone could possibly have survived that."


Last edited by CCC on Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:58 am 
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Felix watches the grim spectacle.

"This isn't our first rodeo. Nate and I have been in tougher situations and he's always pulled through where it counted."

Turning away, he'll do his best to wrap things up with Aramsham. Remind him of the flagellation and fasting before they march. That he'll keep in touch and show them where to go. Once everything is set he'd like to leave, unless anyone else has something to say.

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 Post Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:50 am 
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"What worries me," says Sir Sparhawk quietly, "is that Martel's also as slippery as a greased fish. It wouldn't be the first time I thought I'd seen the last of him."

Lady Sephrenia doesn't say anything, but her posture just radiates anger. She pays attention when Aramsham waves his piece of ramshorn about, only to very slightly shake her head - it's not a real magical object at all (which means that any voices Aramsham might have been hearing were either inside his own head, or some trick of Martel's - there seems to be little to no practical difference at this point).

Aramsham nods enthusiastically when he's reminded of the flagellation and the fasting, and by the time the group leaves they can hear the rather unpleasant sounds of the surviving fanatics all eagerly beating themselves (and, in the cases of fanatics who are either slightly smarter or worse listeners, beating each other instead) to prove their lack of demonic influence.

--------------

Sephrenia waits until they're back at the small house of Sir Perraine, the undercover cattle dealer, before allowing her temper to explode. "What were you thinking!" she asks Felix, in a kind of whisper-yell that one employs when one really does not want the neighbours to hear what one is yelling about. "Do you have any idea how many times I had to step in to save you?"

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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:23 pm 
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"I was thinking that leaving Martel in a place of influence over our enemies was a very bad idea and that he would send word that we'd caught onto the trail of the poison if he'd been left alive."

Felix breathes deeply to steady himself, then continues.

"I made note of the fact that you were counter spelling him and, confident that you had our backs, I pressed forward on the matter."

Felix sighs.

"Though I do recognize I made an unstable situation worse. I'll have to find some way to deal with the cultists. The flagellation and fasting will severely weaken them, but I suspect he might forget about it soon enough."

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